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Old Nov 6, 2005, 1:44 PM   #21
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Something went wrong here -when I was playing around to try to get an inline image, rather than an attachment.

However, I cannot find a way of deleting this so please see next post

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Old Nov 6, 2005, 1:49 PM   #22
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Hi yet again

The attachment is a comparison of frames taken from one of the MOV files at

http://www.unmediated.org/archives/2...ted_sany_1.php

which I converted to AVI using MP4Cam2AVI.

There is a substantialcolour/contrast enhancement. Where does this come from ?

Note: the frames were from 320x240 movie and the scene was being panned quickly, hence the poor definition. However, it certainly shows the colour enhancment well.

It suggests that if I did go for the Xacti C5 then I would need to convert all my movies to AVI to get good colour.

Did you get a chance to download some of the movies from that site and try converting them yourself ?

The Sanyo Xacti C5 movies on this site in Steve's review all show much improvment for me when converted to AVI but since I cannot view the originals with the same player as the converted ones, as I indicated above, then I cannot distinuish between player and conversion effects. You could compare then both on Media Player Classic.


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Old Nov 6, 2005, 2:39 PM   #23
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Idid seethose videos a few monthsback but didn't bother to convert them. I just did, and yes, playing the .MOV and the .AVI bothwith MPC produce different color results. I'm not sure why that is, but based onthe moviedetails, MPC is utilizing Quicktime to render the .MOV and Divxas a codec forthe .AVI. When playing .MP4 MPC movie details say "MPEG-4 movie" instead of "Quicktime movie" as it does for the .MOV. So perhaps when I play .MP4 it's not using Quicktime to render, just it's codec or demuxer?Becausewith a .MP4 and .AVI both in MPC I get similar results. I don't know, it's all strange. But yeah, it makes you think. However, I like the fact that .MP4 is a modern container as opposed to the outdated .AVI container, I just wish the Windows world would get up to speed with MPEG-4 standardsrather than focus it's future on Microsoft's proprietary WMV.
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Old Nov 7, 2005, 6:28 PM   #24
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Hi

Found a new player - VCL Media Player, which will play MP4 files.

A comparison of one of the Sanyo Xacti C5 sample files on this site on Quicktime Player & VCL Player shows the same results - much better colour on the VCL Player. See picture below.

Also, I find that the other Sanyo Xacti C5 files on the "unmediated" sitereferred to early in this thread, which were in MOV format and which I can play on MPC, show better colour when played on the VCL Player rather than MPC. The imrovements are similar to those I see when I take the MOV files, convert them to AVI ( using MP4Cam2AVI ) and compare them on MPC.

I wonder how many sales the manufacturers of the MP4 cameras are losing because of the conclusion reachedfrom evaluations of their cameras's movie qualityusing QuickTime.

Phil

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Old Nov 8, 2005, 9:50 AM   #25
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I'll check out... VLC player, I've heard of it before, but I've loved MPC's out-of-my-face no-bloatuser interface andsingle .EXEso much I've been reluctant to give it up. Thanks.
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Old Nov 13, 2005, 5:14 AM   #26
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Can I revive this thread with a question about MPEG4 please.

Does is have a downside ?

I am curious that Canon, whose cameras seem to produce excellant videos, from the many sample videos I have accumulated over recent weeks, have not got into MPEG4, when the memory usage benefits are so great.

Is it a technical thing in that they know of the downside which is not apparent from a cursary look atMP4 videos or is it a licencing thing or something else ?

My concern is that if they have shunned it then should I ?

Curiously, on Steve's review ofboth the recentCanon Powershot A610 & 620 cameras.he shows in his sample photos an AVI file and an MP4file which says "QuickTime 7 Pro converted to MP4". Does this imply some MPEG4 capability of the camera ?.

If not, then why show them here ?




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Old Nov 15, 2005, 3:13 PM   #27
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Well, MPEG-4 is much more processor intensive, so they need a faster/better processor. MJPEG utilizes JPEG compression, which is already a feature of digicam engines, MPEG-4 is different. As for licensing, yes MPEG-4 needs to be licensed, JPEG does not (well, until some company just recently claimed it owns a patent covering JPEG, but it expires next year).

Downsides are probably editing. DV video only compresses video frames, MPEG-4 compresses the video stream (key frames, then frame-to-frame differences and advanced techniques like motion estimation). I'm not sure about MJPEG? MP4 is not natively supported by Microsoft Windows, MJPEG now is. Apple is very MP4 friendly, so it's notas muchan issue for their users.

Not sure why the A610 review has an .MP4, perhaps so that readers can download a 1MB file instead of a 20MB file and still get a good idea of the video quality? Converting to .MP4 can't enhance the quality, so perhaps it's fair.

Again, I think it's just a question of time. MPEG-4 done right is difficult, Canon, and others,are probably waitingforengines that can properly handle better compression techniques for video, like MPEG-4 ASP or MPEG-4 AVC (H.264). I personally believe H.264 will becomeTHE standard for digital video just like JPEG currently is the standard for digital images.
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 4:00 AM   #28
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Caelum: Thanks for further input.

I agree it would be useful to wait until MPEG-4 becomes a standard.

However, I need a new digicam soon to take clips of a young grandchild.

Unfortunately, most of the MPEG-4 cameras around have other feature which I do not like, i.e. too compact, Li-ion batteries etc so I may have to elect for a non-MPEG-4 camera right now ( probably Fuji S7000/5600 or Canon S2 ) and rely on memory card prices falling, as presumably they should.

One unfortunate thing about the Fuji movie facilities is that they don't give the option of 15 FS. I think that the FS reduction from 30 to 15 ( to preserve memory ) is more acceptable ( for low motion movies) than a drop in resolution from 640x480 to 320x240.

Re. Steve's MP4 sample movies of the A610 & A620, I think he should have offered some explanation why he posted these - to avoid confusion.

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Old Nov 16, 2005, 1:22 PM   #29
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Those cameras (S7000/S2) look like really goodcameras. If you don't mind I'll point out that the S2 hasthe huge advantageof being able to zoom during video recordingand itis almost completly silent. That great bison video posted here demonstrates well the silence of the zoom.

It's interesting because I disagree with the resolution/FPS tradeoff, I guess it's personal. When I see video, what really throws me offother thanbad image quality is lack of fluidity. If I can choose between ahigh quality 320x240 30fps video and ahigh quality 640x480 15fps video, I'd take the 30fps, simply because the lower fps doesn'tconvey natural movement to me.
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Old Nov 17, 2005, 5:50 AM   #30
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Hi Caelum - thanks for further interest.

Yes, both the S7000 & S2 look pretty good and nice to see they both use AA batteries.

The Fuji S7000 has the nice feature of 2 memory cards capability- an xD andMicrodrive, although I am notsure how these are selectable, i.e. if youhave to fiddle with menus each time you change. It would be nice to be able to pre- allocate them so the smaller xD is used for photos anda larger Microdrive to Movies so you do not run out of memory for photosdue to taking movies. However, I am not sure if this is possible.

The larger movie size (/G ) on the S7000 would also be useful but does the higher compression used to achieve this produce unacceptable artifacts ? I have not seen any evidence of this in the few sample movies I have seen.

As you say, the Zoom during Movie is a nice feature of the S2.

Another camera feature which it has recently occurred to me as quite important is the selection of Resolution. I am very happy with my current 1600x1200 images for 6x4 prints. A higher resolution is useful if you wish to substantially crop a photo - to effectively zoom. To switch regularly between resolutions is much easier if this is selectable via aSwitch or or Dial on the camera rather thanvia a Menu.

I think the choice will be between these unless something else comes up before I buy.
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